UNITED STATES: Elon Musk’s rocket recently launched a unique satellite into space in addition to its standard Starlink payload of 34 cosmic internet routers, which could transform mobile phone telephony.
Blue Walker 3
The satellite, known as Blue Walker 3, was created by AST SpaceMobile to offer global direct satellite mobile network coverage.
In other words, a signal from our smartphones will be sent directly into space, where it will be picked up by a Blue Walker 3 antenna and transmitted back to Earth.
To connect its satellite broadband mobile service to conventional cell providers, AST SpaceMobile intends to install a network of receiving antennas worldwide.
Being the largest commercial communications array to date at 693 square feet, Blue Walker 3 is a special telecom satellite. Even astronomers were alarmed because it might be the next brightest object in our sky after the moon. And the Blue Walker network will put on a night show with a fleet of at least 100 orbiting mobile phone relays.
The AST SpaceMobile satellite is quite a space engineering marvel, weighing 3,300 lb. (1,500 kg), making it the largest rideshare payload SpaceX has ever launched into space.
The satellite will deploy its spring-loaded solar panels and antennas in the following weeks while AST’s experts test its ground connectivity.
The satellite, whose surface area is somewhat less than the Oval Office, fits into Falcon9 thanks to its small packing cube design. Watch the second video for additional information about the AST’s communication satellite.
Because a large, powerful antenna, known as a “micron array,” is required to successfully pick up the weak radio signals from normal cellphones dispersed hundreds of kilometres below, the Blue
Walker 3 has an overgrown surface. Ten of the 25 cellular service providers with which the company has agreements will participate in the testing phase over the next six months.
The Texas-based AST SpaceMobile and Nokia collaborated earlier this year to develop satellite direct-to-cell connectivity options.
Officials at the firm claim that the BlueWalker 3’s half-year shakedown would test the device’s capabilities on six continents, where it may potentially reach 1.8 billion phone users.
The fundamental working premise is that our cellphones create feeble radio signals that travel through space and land on the Blue Walker 3 antennas. The radio beam is then redirected to one of AST’s ground receivers and transmitted to Earth.
These links to the mobile networks of different service providers throughout the globe. Network blind spots will almost disappear because the signal travels directly from the cell phone to the satellite.
The technique works with any mobile phone, so consumers do not require specialised or pricey hardware. In 2023, AST SpaceMobile hopes to launch three more large broadband mobile network antennas into orbit.
In 2022, Blue Walker 3 was a payload of SpaceX mission 41, and Elon Musk’s hundreds of space internet gadgets are currently circling the planet. We can only speculate as to what the Starlink satellites will look like once the billionaire’s cosmically expansive internet network is large enough to cover the entire world.